On the Run – by Iris Johansen

Reviewed by Johni Caitlin Morgan
Wife of company driver, Amstan

Listening Time: 9 hours
Publisher: Random House Audio
Retail: $39.95
Genre: Suspense

Plot: Grace Archer is a woman in hiding. She and her 8-year-old daughter Frankie were placed in a government protection program in an attempt to save their lives. Grace Archer is a former operative of an agency that has protected both of them for eight years. When political upheavals place new people in charge of the agency at the same time that her hiding place on a horse farm in Alabama is compromised, the agency refuses to provide her with further protection. Out of the past comes the evil that has searched for her for the last eight years. However, also out of the past comes the man that may be Grace Archer’s only hope to save her daughter. Jake Kilmer was a vicious killer but now has one focus in life – to save the lives of the woman that he has loved for so many years and her daughter.

What was your favorite moment? My favorite scene occurs when the ranch where Grace and Frankie live is attacked by paid assassins. Jake arrives just in time to pull Grace and Frankie to safety.

Which character was your favorite? My favorite character is Charlie. Although he is a bit player in the story, he is presented as a man that you would want to call a friend. He is an elderly man of great kindness and courage, who takes in a strange woman and child who appear on his doorstep one day. He takes them in and comes to love them as a daughter and granddaughter.

Does the book have a message or theme? The themes that run through this story are revenge and survival.

What did you like or dislike? I like the plot of the story. The woman and child are in danger, and the man that loves them will stop at nothing to save them from the evil that pursues them. But the story line and the dialogue that carry the plot are sometimes so outlandish that it is difficult to stay focused on the plot. We are promised at the beginning of the story that we will be hearing about a well-trained and experienced government operative that will stop at nothing to save her daughter. We are also promised that we will be hearing about a precocious but delightful 8-year-old child. Instead, we are presented with a woman who is inept and ineffective, and who finds it difficult to make a decision without first consulting her child. And we are presented with a child who speaks like an adult and is more understanding, mature and courageous than most adults.

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Would you recommend this book to friends? I would only recommend this book to others if I added a disclaimer. If you are a reader who believes that children are smarter and more mature than adults, and that adults’ actions should be based on the opinions of a child, then this book is for you. However, if you are a reader who believes a child should be protected during a crisis, and that decisions should be made by life-experienced and mature adults, then you may have a difficult time suspending your belief enough to enjoy this story.

Narrator’s style: I enjoyed listening to the narrator, Jennifer Van Dyck. She has a pleasant, well-modulated voice that is easy to listen to. However, the dialogue she has to work with is choppy and sometimes so ludicrous that it oftentimes sounds silly, regardless of the skill of the narrator.

How would you grade the book? My personal rating would have to be a D. If I had not decided to write a review on this story, I would never have listened to the entire book.


Snakes on a Plane – Based on the motion picture
Hawaiian surfer Sean Jones’ simple life is turned upside down after he witnesses a murder by sadistic Triad gangster Eddie Kim. Under FBI protection, Sean is flown to Los Angeles to testify against the gangster – but Kim has other ideas and a large pallet filled with venomous snakes is loaded onto the same plane.

As the enraged snakes are unleashed upon the unsuspecting passengers and crew, it falls to Sean and FBI agent Neville Flynn to battle the snakes and keep the panicked passengers from turning on each other as tension and danger mounts.

Performed by a full cast of professional narrators and produced with cinematic music and sound effects.
Fully dramatized on 2 CDs
Retail: $19.99

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